Washington, Sep 22 (IANS) India has invited US companies to invest in the Indian energy sector as India-US collaboration offered great potential, in view of India’s enormous energy needs and the US resources, capabilities and technology.
The invitation was extended by Minister of State for Power Piyush Goyal at the India-US Ministerial Energy Dialogue co-chaired by him and the US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz here Monday.
He also invited US firms to participate in India’s unconventional hydrocarbons sector, especially in the field of exploration and exploitation of alternate energy sources such as shale oil, shale gas and gas hydrates.
During the dialogue, the two sides reviewed the progress made by the six Working Groups of the Energy Dialogue and identified new areas for cooperation, according to an Indian Embassy media release.
They also reviewed various energy related issues agreed in the India-US Joint Statement during President Barack Obama’s visit to India in January.
Goyal stressed the Indian government’s goal of providing 24×7 power across India by 2019 by creating cost effective infrastructure which was sustainable and inclusive of clean energy solutions.
Stressing India’s commitment to pursue a green path to growth, he spoke of India’s ambitious plans for deployment of 175 GW renewable power capacities by 2022.
These would include 100 GW of solar and 60 GW of wind, which may require investment of around $150 billion in the next seven years.
Goyal also expounded on the government’s objective of construction of 100 smart cities which would include in its blueprint adequate provisions for power generation, usage of renewable and energy efficiency technologies and comprehensive waste management programme.
During the Dialogue, presentations were made on progress made under various joint research programmes.
It was agreed to explore addition of smart grids and energy storage for grid application as the fourth stream under Partnership to Advance Clean Energy – Research (PACE – R)
The need to develop a robust energy data management system to develop better simulation of the energy scenario in India in the future was also recognised.
The Working Group on Coal identified some areas of coal mining where both countries could collaborate.
It was recognised that India had proven reserves of shale gas and US had well developed expertise for Shale gas extraction.
Collaboration in the area of fracking of shale gas, especially water less fracking in India were identified as areas of future cooperation under the Energy Dialogue.
Discussions were also held in the working groups on financing of clean energy technology as well as on innovative financing for renewable energy microfinance and micro enterprises.
It was recognised that coal based power plants would continue to be the mainstay of India’s electricity generation source in the coming decades.
However, the Indian delegation urged the US to share technology related to supercritical coal plants as well as share best practices and tools to improve efficiency and carbon footprint of existing power plants.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)